NORTH Sea-focused developer Premier Oil has revealed that first oil from the Catcher field was achieved on December 23.

The expected progress on the giant Catcher Area off the north east of Scotland came on schedule and 30 per cent under budget.

Initial production from the field is expected to be around 10,000 barrels per day, which will gradually increase to 60,000 barrels during the first half of 2018.

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Tony Durrant, Premier chief executive said production would help reduce the group’s debt. “The Catcher Area project also demonstrates Premier’s continuing commitment to invest in the UK,” he added.